Ivsin, Paul PIvsin at RIVENET.COM
Mon Jul 2 21:09:20 UTC 2001

Can anyone supply a meaning and origin for the term "polink," as used in the
last sentence of the quote below?

About the borough on every hand evidences of thrift and many elegant houses,
residences and storerooms, with others in the process of building, are to be
seen. It has none of the forbidding appearances of a mining camp, with
streets lined with foreigners who can not speak the English language, or
their mangy dogs and universal goats laying waste every green thing as well
as tin cans and such light dishes "on the side." It is patronized by
farmers, and on circus day the belles and beaux are always on hand to laugh
at the clown and drink circus lemonade. After all a good circus town makes a
desirable place to rear your children. It indicates a strong, healthy, clean
agricultural community, where your children are not so liable to contract
the "polink" habit.

This is from a description of late-19th-century Shickshinny Borough, in
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.  No exact date of the text is given, but it
seems to be from around the turn of the century.  Complete text of the
article, which contains no further explanation of the phrase, can be found


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